is it too early to start tilling?

I’m full of accomplishments! Here’s the Burridge Lake Aran Afghan, which took 2 1/2 years to complete. (On and off, of course.) I used the blocking mats I got from my mom for Christmas, and I can’t believe I’ve lived without them for so long. No more pinning wet wool to the guest bed!

burridge lake aran afghan, DONE! (31/365)

I also made mozzarella cheese. The recipe isn’t terribly complicated, just very detail-oriented as far as when to add citric acid (around 55 degrees), rennet (88 degrees), and when to stop the heating (somewhere between 95 and 105, depending on the recipe). Though I was using two thermometers, I managed to get the heat way too high on the first batch, because the thermometers were in the curd and not the whey. Who knew? Anyway, we ended up with ricotta, which did not make me sad at all.

The next day, I went to the store for more milk, AND IT WORKED.

homemade mozzarella

It took a very, very long time to get the cheese to this state. I had some trouble getting the curd to come together at all initially; I’m not sure if that’s an issue of not having squeezed enough whey out before letting it sit, or something with the heat. Once I got that to work with the help of Matt and a mesh strainer, it was a matter of dunking it in hot water, then kneading. Repeat four million times til the cheese stretches, and you have mozzarella. (Next time I’ll get rubber gloves so I can use much-hotter water; I’m pretty sure that would make it a faster process.)

We made calzones that night using the mozzarella and ricotta. I was so proud, and managed to knock off #19 on my 101 Things list. We also make some awesome Korean food over the weekend, and I baked enough seitan to last me for months.

Other non-home-based things that have gone on recently:

1) We checked out the Lowbrow and were very impressed. That place is going to be awesome for brunch!

2) We finally saw 127 Hours. I stared at the wall the whole time he was breaking his own damn arm off. The sound alone was horrible.

3) I bowled 144/145/78. Consistency is not my strong suit.

4) We went to D4th of February at Triple Rock, which was awesome because we’ve never managed to make it to D4th of July. It was fantastic, and Paddy was in rare form. He did not shave his head on stage this time, however.

5) We watched the Gophers tie and then lose to UMD the next night. That’s the expected result, but then again I’m pretty happy we split the season series with the #4 team in the country.

6) Last night, we did some shopping at United Noodle (preparing for tonight’s awesome Chinese meal) and Zipp’s (preparing for Friday’s beer tasting / poker night), then had dinner at Triple Rock. They’ve revised the menu, and the BBQ po-boy with mock duck might be the greatest sammich I’ve ever had. It was so good, in fact, that Matt took the leftovers for lunch today. That’s right, Matt’s eating mock duck.

it's cold. (39/365)

Also, while it’s been insanely cold this week, I’m convinced that today is the coldest day left of the winter. Spring is on its way, which means I better do some garden-planning!

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